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A photo of arroz con gandules in a bowl with a napkin and serving spoon.
4.92 from 12 votes

Arroz con Gandules

This is a Puerto Rican favorite, present at almost every meal. The earthy taste of gandules (pigeon peas) is combined with bacon, sazón and rice for a perfect side dish.

Course Main dish
Cuisine Latin American
Keyword arroz, gandules, guandu, Panama, pigeon peas, Puerto Rican, Puerto rican dishes, rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 8 servings
Calories 276 kcal
Author Analida Braeger


  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sazon Goya brand
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • ¼ cup bacon thick, diced
  • 15.5 oz gandules 1 can (pigeon peas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp parsley chopped


  1. In a 6 qt pan on medium heat sauté onions and bacon in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the gandules and stir quickly for about 3 minutes. Immediately add the sazón, broth, water and rice.

  2. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cover. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes. Fluff, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

  3. Add salt to taste. (The saltiness of the bacon can vary so I check the salt level at the end.)

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How do I make the sazón seasoning in this dish without MSG?  Combine 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt, turmeric, white pepper, ground coriander, ground annato, garlic powder and oregano.  Mix well and store in a sealed jar in a dark place. Use the same amount as you would in other recipes that call for sazón.
  • How long can I store this in the refrigerator? Once it has completely cooled you can store this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on medium power until hot but stop and stir every 30 seconds to fluff it up.
  • Can I freeze this dish? Yes, once it has completely cooled you can pack into zip top freezer bags packed flat to save space and expel all the air. This will keep for a month in the freezer. Thaw it completely and microwave is as described above.
  • If I make half the recipe can I store the leftover gandules? Yes, you can freeze the gandules in water for up to 6 months in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw, drain, rinse and use them in the dish.
Nutrition Facts
Arroz con Gandules
Amount Per Serving
Calories 276 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 124mg5%
Potassium 331mg9%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 40IU1%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.